Chet Smolski, Rhode Island College


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Chet Smolski describes this building as a science research building of the 1920s. This building is part of Karazin Kharkov National University. The park from which the photo was taken is called Svobody Square or Freedom Square. The building is a prime example of Constructivist architecture. It features skywalks that probably derive from El Lissitsky’s Skyhook of the 1920s, although the buildings are not horizontal skyscrapers. When built it was the tallest skyscraper in the U.S.S.R. It was financed by order of Feliks Dzierżyński and cost 9 million rubles.

Freedom Square used to be known as Dzerzhinsky Square after Felix Dzerzhinsky, who was the founder of Communist Russia’s Cheka, or secret police. The square was renamed Freedom Square after Ukraine became independent from Russia in 1991. Freedom Square is the main square of Kharkov and it is the second larget city-center square in Europe. This statue of Lenin was erected in 1964 and remains standing to this day.


See Wikipedia

See Reyner Banham Information from The contact for info. on this building is Igor Bolotny: “The reconstruction and renovation of the Derzhprom building took more time (7 years) than the construction of the building itself. (3 years)”


(Accessed 22 May 2012)


This object from the Chester E. Smolski photographic slides and publications, housed by the Rhode Island College Special Collections, and any of its digital surrogates are the intellectual property of Rhode Island College. This digital object is protected by copyright and/or related rights. The digital material presented here is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This content can be used, shared, or adapted for educational and scholarly purposes. For permissions to use this item please contact All uses must include appropriate attribution.

Creator 1 Role


Recommended Citation

Chester E. Smolski photographic slides and publications, MSS-0041, Special Collections, James P. Adams Library, Rhode Island College.


Freedom Square, Lenin, Lenin monument, statues, Ukraine, Karazin Kharkov National University